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So, this morning I woke up to drama.

Not a big deal, really. These things happen. People disagree, and thanks to the nature of internet communications, miscommunication about those disagreements happen.

The issue was handled and no one seems the worse for wear… but any time something like this happens, it makes me examine my own communication and word choices.

A reader took exception to the tone of one of my posts, and a particular phrase I used to preface that tone. The phrase was “mom mode”, meant to be a humorous jab at myself because the post that followed was part cheerleader, part kick in the ass to fellow writers involved with a particular contest. The post came about after several conversations I had with others regarding public negative and unprofessional behavior on the part of some participants.

Perhaps it would have come across better had I prefaced the piece with my curriculum vitae and explained my credentials (I won’t go into details, but you can get an idea here). Perhaps it would have been better to call it “blunt mode”, or “ass kicking mode”.

But I chose “mom mode”. Why?

Because I am, by nature, a teacher and encourager. And because, in my world, “mom” is the person who loves you, wants the best for you, and is willing to say the sometimes hard things to help you be your best. And because I was being silly… Because I am a peer to fellow participants. I am not their teacher. I am neither their manager nor their mentor. But I do have relevant experience.

While I will happily apologize if I unintentionally offend someone (and I did), I will not engage in public arguments. Polite discourse, courteous discussion of disagreements – perfectly fine. There is no way to please all of the people all of the time, or to 100% guarantee that you never offend anyone.

So… if anything I write makes you wonder who the fuck I think I am… Or pushes the wrong buttons… Or causes you to stop listening/reading because of the way I said something… I’d like to know. Politely and preferably privately (I am damn easy to contact). Because I welcome an intelligent and thoughtful conversation on the subject. Maybe you’ll change my mind, and maybe I’ll change yours – or maybe neither…

Either way, doing so privately avoids potential misunderstandings and social media explosions. And really, I prefer to restrict my explosions to movies and fireworks.